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I Need Advice On Stray Cat Bite.

Discussion in 'Caring for Strays and Ferals' started by Bluelady4848, Nov 7, 2018.

  1. Bluelady4848

    Bluelady4848 Thread Starter TCS Member Kitten

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    Nov 7, 2018
    I've been feeding a stray black female cat since spring. On October 30th I was putting food out for her and accidentally stepped on her paw. Like a dummy I reached out and she bit me. I went to the Doctor the nest day and got a tetanus shot and put on Amoxicillin. I also went to the health dept. because I'm 65 and let my medicaid kinda slide, so I have no insurance to cover rabies vaccines for myself. They sent animal control out, and the officer basically said, if they take the cat they would have to put it down and test for rabies...or I could watch it myself for 10 days. I didn't want that, so I've decided to just keep feeding it outside on my porch. Tomorrow will be the 10th day. Last night I put the food out and the cat looked like she started to eat, but an hour later, the bowl of food was still pretty full. It was rainy and cold out, but she's always eaten it before. Today, she hasn't showed up at my door at all. I'm freaking out. Not sure what to do. I would have to borrow money from my nieces to get the series of rabies shots I need. I'm worried about myself, but also worried about the kitty. Winter is coming and I can't take this cat inside, even if the 10 day observation period is up tomorrow, I worry the cat might freeze to death. I need some advice from someone who deals with stray cats. I don't want me or the cat to die of rabies. Thanks.
     
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  2. Jcatbird

    Jcatbird TCS Member Top Cat

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    First, calm down. I have been bitten many times. If it is rainy and cold she probably went somewhere to get warm and dry. You can rig up a shelter for her outside tomorrow. We’ll address that first. If you can’t let her in any part of a garage or outbuilding then you can get a plastic storage box and lay it on one side. If you can put it next to the building or under a bit of roof or under something it will help. You need to keep the wind out. Up on a chair would be good too. Getting her off the cold ground a little is good. Line the box with newspaper and old blankets or towels leaving a small place for her to curl up in. Then try to draw plastic over the box a bit to keep everything dry. You can buy cat beds that heat up, use a heating pad on low and that would help. Getting her inside would be much better or try to get someone to take her in. They can die of exposure to cold. A home would be best for her. I think she will show back up. Especially if you give her shelter.
    As for your bite. Is she showing any signs of illness? I don’t know where you live but rabies rates are higher in Raccoons. I have not had to get the shots. The worst thing I have gotten was infection and since you got antibiotics that would be less likely. Keep an eye on your wound. Infection looks like a redness that sends out streaks of red or some discharge. We can’t know for sure I’d she is clear of rabies but if the ten days is up and she comes back then you can watch her and hopefully all is well. Rain may keep her hiding away as long as things are wet.
    If you want to find here a home then please write back if you need help. Keep your doctor updated.
    I hope you will both be okay. Saving her is wonderful!. Thank you for that. She sounds like she is tame. Maybe she is lost or was thrown out. She needs help. There are groups that might be able to assist. Please keep posting here. We can all offer tips and will want to know yo are both okay. I will be checking back in to see how you are doing. Just keep writing and others will give you good advice. @Bluelady4848 good luck. I am glad you wrote in. Welcome to TCS. Let’s us know how things are going and ask any question you need to. People here care. :welcomesign::goodluck:
     
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  3. Bluelady4848

    Bluelady4848 Thread Starter TCS Member Kitten

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    Nov 7, 2018
    Thank you so much for the reply. I saw something in a Facebook thread that showed that you can get two storage bins One slightly bigger than the other, and put Styrofoam in between the two bins, then cut a hole for the cat to enter or exit. Unfortunately I can't find the link now. But I bet I could jerry rig something like it. I was actually letting the cat come in as I was fixing it's food,and she would explore a little, but then go right to the door. She's very skittish at times and cringes when I pet her unexpectedly. But other times, when I was sitting out on my porch in the summer, she'd jump on my lap and let me pet her. She kinda nipped me once when I did that, but didn't draw blood. The thing is, I have a hard time walking, and I'm afraid if she tripped me, I might fall on her and, well, lets not go there. I used to own two cats a few years back who both died of old age eventually. But this cat is a lot different personality wise. We both want to be friends, but don't quite trust each other. I live in a mobile home park, so people come and go quite a bit here. I wouldn't be surprised if someone moved and left her behind. But she also seems a little wild, so it's a guess on my part. We do have a rescue group near my town, but I didn't want to contact them until after the ten days were up. That will be tomorrow. I sure hope the kitty shows up tomorrow.
     
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  4. msaimee

    msaimee TCS Member Top Cat

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    There has not been a single incidence of rabies transmitted from a cat to a human in over 40 years. I have been bitten three times by cats, and each time the wound got infected (puncture wounds do), and each time a course of antibiotics remedied the situation. Please don't panic and call animal control, because they will needlessly trap and kill this cat. Here is a link to an article about this subject by Alley Cats International.

    Cats Are No Rabies Threat

    There could be many reasons why the cat didn't show up yesterday, and why he might not show up in the days ahead. If he isn't neutered, or if it is a female who has not been spayed, the cat will wander and often disappear for a few days at a time. Cats who have not been fixed will wander and look for a mate quite often, this will not change until the cat is spayed or neutered. Also, someone else may be feeding and providing shelter for the cat, so he may begin to show up less frequently at your place. This is very common with stray cats who are looking for humans to care for them- they will make the rounds between several different neighbors. Also, outdoor cat sometimes will lose their appetite now and then for a day or two. Sometimes they may become ill from ingesting a mouse or bird and get an upset tummy. Sometimes they get parasites. Also, worst case scenario, if the cat is ill, there are at least a dozen different types of illnesses he can have, all more plausible than rabies, since the incidence of rabies in cats is extremely rare. He could have an upper respiratory infection, feline leukemia, or feline AIDS. His paw could be injured from being stepped on. He could hsve fleas and parasites, both conditions which cause anemia and weakness. He could have an injury that you don't see from fighting with another cat. If he in fact had rabies, his symptoms would be much more severe than not eating and not appearing at your house for a day.

    There are many lots of kinds of shelters you can provide for this cat, and if you search through old threads on this site, you can get an idea of pet houses and shelters people have made or purchased. Straw is the preferred filler for any shelter, since it remains dry and provides warmth for a cat. You can purchase straw for a couple of dollars at an Agway, and it will last through the winter. Mylar sheets can also be purchased for a few dollars from any Dick's Sporting store, and used to line a shelter or pet house. It reflects body heat for the cat. Basically, anything you can provide for the cat for shelter will help the cat out. You could also talk to your friends and neighbors, and see if any of them would like to adopt the cat and take him into their home. The Humane Society and other places will do a low-cost spay or neuter packsge. For about $30, they will to the neuter, give a rabies vaccine, treat for fleas and worms, and microchip him. Even if you can't take the cat inside your house, providing the cat with this service could give him a long and healthy life.

    There are a lot of people on this site who can offer you information and support in caring for this cat. Thank you for caring about him. Let us know how you are doing.
     
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2018
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  5. kittychick

    kittychick TCS Member Super Cat

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    I'm glad you're feeling less worried about the bite/rabies - - -I too have been bitten MANY times over the years, and infection was always the bigger worry (and you've taken care of that -----just keep watching it, but it sounds like you're basically past the "infection worry" stage!). As noted above by the two very knowledgable cat people - - -just watch the wound - - it should be fine. But yes - - getting her a shelter where she can get warm and dry will likely save her life. The other two gave lots of good advice - - - I won't repeat what they said (since alot of it is what I would have said!) - - -but here are some links showing how to make cheap rubbermaid shelters. If you've got a spay/neuter clinic in your area - - many sell these type of shelters VERY cheaply, as do some humane societies, etc. Before you get into making one yourself, you might call around to see if you can find an inexpensive pre-made one!

    Feral Cat Shelter Program - Roughneck Homes

    Building Winter Shelters for Community Cats - Alley Cat Advocates | Trap-Neuter-Release and Volunteer Services for Greater Louisville, KY

    How to Build a Feral Cat Shelter for the Winter | Catster


    I thought it also might help you to read a few well-written articles on helping kitties survive the winter (of course inside is best, but if that's not possible - - -at least read through these - - the offer alot of great tips about keeping them warm, water, etc.). So the links below cover winter tips:

    Tips for Community Cat Care This Winter

    Winter Weather Tips
     
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  6. Bluelady4848

    Bluelady4848 Thread Starter TCS Member Kitten

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    Nov 7, 2018
    Thanks to everyone who replied and offered advice. You've helped put my mind at ease about the cat bite. As for Kitty, still no sign of her. I'm hoping that someone else has been feeding her too, and decided to take her inside their home. I'm worried about her well being. Still keep checking and calling her though. Maybe tomorrow. Thanks for the help, advice and suggestions.
     
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  7. kittychick

    kittychick TCS Member Super Cat

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    Jul 2, 2013
    Ohio
    You're in good company - we all worry when one of our furry family doesn't show up. We've got one that didn't show up for breakfast this morning, and already my mind's going a million miles an hour! Do know that often as the weather gets colder, or even just a sudden cold snap, or there's a bad storm (and I know this sounds counterintuitive), some kitties disappear for awhile. None of us knows for sure why - - you'd think they'd stay closer to their known food/water/shelter resource - - but not always!!! So don't give up on her - - have a shelter ready for her if you can (the links I gave in my last note have tons of cold weather advice - - particularly how to make those rubbermaid shelters!), keep calling her, and hopefully shortly she'll be back!
     
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  8. msaimee

    msaimee TCS Member Top Cat

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    Western PA
    You also might want to ask your neighbors if they've seen him. Do you have a picture of him in your phone? It would be helpful for you to know if anyone else is caring for him.
     
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  9. 1 bruce 1

    1 bruce 1 TCS Member Top Cat

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    Any sign of her?
    I'm wondering if the bad weather and the incidence of a stepped on paw made her decide to keep a low profile.
    We've had barn cats come up missing, and a month later they return no worse for wear.
    I don't know how they do it. If I was left on my own for 20 minutes I'd starve or injure myself or something. They're pretty amazing creatures. :)
    She may have found a nice person that is feeding her and figured out having her "choice of buffet" isn't a bad situation.
    We had a really nice cat show up, young-ish looking, very friendly and easy to handle. Got him neutered, and let him go and he hung out around our place for over a year.
    One day he wandered off, but came back a day or two later. Next time he wandered off, he was gone about 4 days. After that, a week, 2 weeks, etc.
    Every time this cat came back, he was immaculately groomed (long haired cat) without a single tangle or clump of hair that wasn't somehow removed. He looked like someones beloved well groomed and well fed house cat...he was also FAT. Not obese, but not exactly svelte.
    We're rural enough we didn't worry TOO much but one day this cat sauntered off and never returned. Seeing how he would return after a long time of being gone in better shape than he left, I'm 99% positive someone was feeding him, brushing him, and decided he should be a house cat and kept him inside.
     
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  10. Bluelady4848

    Bluelady4848 Thread Starter TCS Member Kitten

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    Nov 7, 2018
    No sign of her yet. I went around the neighborhood today and asked people, but nobody has seen her. Hoping she's inside someone's nice warm home. Thanks everyone.
     

  11. Willowy

    Willowy TCS Member Top Cat

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    To be honest, and I'm not alarmist about this, but if you don't see her (even a glimpse---just to know she's alive) in the next week or so, I'd recommend calling the health department to ask what to do. Disappearing like that is suspicious for a cat under rabies observation. And, yeah, nobody has recently died of rabies transmitted by a cat---but that's because people go get rabies shots after a cat bite incident if they can't observe the cat! There are always a few cat rabies cases every year.

    If you see her around, or even if one of the neighbors says they've seen her, then that means she's alive and you're fine, but if there's absolutely no sign of her I think it's best to be safe and call the health dept.

    I know someone who was bitten by a wild farm cat and he disappeared during the observation period, so she had to get rabies shots. Of course, he showed up a month later looking fine. Cats! They like to mess with us.
     
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  12. Bluelady4848

    Bluelady4848 Thread Starter TCS Member Kitten

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    Nov 7, 2018
     

  13. Bluelady4848

    Bluelady4848 Thread Starter TCS Member Kitten

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    Nov 7, 2018
    Already talked to the health dept. They wanted me to come in Monday, but realized it's veteran's day. They're closed on Tuesday due to meetings. So I set it up for Wednesday. Kinda scared right now because I've had cramps and diarrhea today. But my cousin said it might be the amoxicillin I've been on. I've also been under a lot of stress. My sister has been absolutely horrible to me about this and calls me stupid for getting "unnecessary" rabies shots. She is not a nice person (I suspect she might be bi-polar) She even screamed over the phone "I HOPE YOU DO HAVE RABIES!" I don't drive, so I've been giving her $20.00 a month to take me to the store and other places I need to go. But I think once I can get medicare, I'll be looking into other transportation. I can't deal with her on top of everything else. I did look around my neighborhood and asked people if they had seen the cat. But no luck. Between worrying about the kitty and (possibly) rabies I'm very stressed. I just don't have the money to go into emergency.
     

  14. msaimee

    msaimee TCS Member Top Cat

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    Jul 21, 2013
    Western PA
    Antibiotics often cause diarrhea and stomach upset. They can also give women yeast infects (so don't freak out if this happens). It helps to take the antibiotics with food to minimize stomach upset , and eat yogurt each day to minimize the chance of a yeast infection. Probiotics can also help the stomach.

    Stray cats come and go all the time. Intact males will roam for a mile or farther searching for a mate, and females in heat will do the same, which is one of many reasons to spay/neuter a cat you are caring for. There is also a good likelihood that someone took him in or took him to a shelter.

    Cats who are rabid have increased aggression and vocalization, seizures, disorientation, weakness, paralysis. If your stray cat was acting this way, someone would have reported it by now. The cat would have been trapped, euthanized, and tested, and there would have been public notification, usually on the news if it had tested positive for rabies. In this scenario, no news is good news.

    Did you take a picture of the cat? If so, this weekend print out copies and post them around your neighborhood with your phone number in case anyone has seen him or taken him in. Have you contacted your local animal shelter to see if he's been brought in? You should definitely do that. You can email his picture to them in case he is brought in. If he is sick or injured, there is increased likelihood that he was taken to the Humane Society.

    I hope you can get some rest this weekend, and that the cat shows up. I suppose there are risks in life every time we perform an act of kindness for any living creature, but it's better than living a life devoid of compassion.
     
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  15. vyger

    vyger TCS Member Alpha Cat

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    Northeast Montana
    I saw the others posted some Instructions for shelters, but just thought I would add one more.
    Feral Cat Winter Shelter

    As far as medicare, you are eligible for that as soon as you hit 65. It is easy to get help with the application process. However you should be aware that it's not the greatest program. They only cover 80% of some expenses. A lot of people get a second "gap" insurance program to make up for what is not included. But that is not cheap. Add to that the fact that you have to pay a Medicare premium every month that is taken out of your benefits. It is a little more than $100 a month. Not the best program around especially considering what everyone pays into it over the years. If your car insurance was the most expensive on the market but only paid 80 percent of a claim would you think they were great? No, you would change. To bad you can't do that with Medicare. So anyway, just giving you a heads up about what to expect.

    As far as Rabies, if there is a quarantine for it in your area I would be concerned. If an area like a county gets more than a certain number of verified rabies cases they declare a rabies quarantine. In Montana the number is one. "Counties are placed under a 60-day quarantine when rabies is confirmed in a terrestrial animal such as a dog, cat, skunk, etc. All unvaccinated dogs, cats and ferrets in quarantined counties must be vaccinated a minimum of twenty-eight (28) days prior to any travel outside the county. Quarantine release dates are subject to change."
    Finally ---- "Aug 25, 2016 - Human rabies cases in the U.S. currently average two per year." That is a very small number.
     

  16. Bluelady4848

    Bluelady4848 Thread Starter TCS Member Kitten

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    Nov 7, 2018
    Wow. Thanks so much for the information. I didn't know any of that stuff about Medicare. I have tried to look up my county and can't find anything about rabies in the last year. Sometimes looking stuff up on the internet is frustrating. Either there are too many conflicting facts on something, or no facts at all. Thanks for the reply.
     

  17. nunnc84

    nunnc84 TCS Member Adult Cat

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    Jun 25, 2018
    Indiana
    Cat Scratch Fever
    Swollen lymph nodes - Symptoms and causes

    Check it out!
     

  18. msaimee

    msaimee TCS Member Top Cat

    1,730
    1,371
    Jul 21, 2013
    Western PA
    Bats are the animals who are likely to have rabies and transmit it humans, not cats, and even incidents of this are rare.

    You saw a doctor for the cat bite, he examined it and prescribed a course of antibiotics. I really don't I think you need to be worrying about cat scratch disease or any other problems. If you have further questions or concerns, you should call your doctor on Monday morning. Your doctor will provide better information than anything you can get from the internet, because you're right, you can find a lot of conflicting information, even from people who have experience handling feral and stray cats. Your doctor willl know best.

    I do hope your stray cat returns so that you have peace of mind. He is likely with his kitty girlfriend now, or in someone's home, but I know how important it is to know to have closure, so I hope you'll see him again. And if and when he returns, I hope you can get a vet appointment to get him neutered and vaccinated against rabies, so that you never have to be afraid of going through this again.
     

  19. vyger

    vyger TCS Member Alpha Cat

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    Jun 24, 2017
    Northeast Montana
    This is a little off topic but because you appear to need the info ----
    Somewhere close to where you live there should be some kind of senior citizen center. It can go by different names but is often sponsored by local governments, counties, with connections to lots of resources. Here is a web site about it on a national level. Often these centers have a paid county adviser whose job is to work as a liaison for seniors. They usually help with Social Security and Medicare issues and can even help fill out and submit applications.
    What is a Senior Citizen Center? Facts & Benefits | NCOA

    Senior Citizen Benefits - Help for Seniors with Low Income | NCOA
     
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  20. Bluelady4848

    Bluelady4848 Thread Starter TCS Member Kitten

    14
    10
    Nov 7, 2018
     

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